Vandalism Could Become a Felony in Rhode Island

Mar 20, 2013

Legislation that would create harsher punishments for vandalism in Rhode Island has recently been introduced in the state house.

Sen. Frank Lombardi has seen enough of the costly vandalism that he says, has seen an increase in the past few years. 

For example, the destruction at a Newport cemetery 2 years ago would have cost $125,000 in cleanup and repairs, had it not been for a group of volunteers.

“I think it’s becoming more and more prevalent, and more and more prevalent in places of worship, places that should not be disturbed like graveyards.  And I think that it should no longer be treated as a victimless crime, and it should be considered much more serious.  And so up the ante for these vandals that are doing these things.”

Lombardi’s bill would make vandalism causing more than $1500 in damage a felony, with a fine of up to $3000  and/or three years in prison.

Under the state law vandalism is currently a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1000, and/or a year in prison.

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